Nirvana (band)

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This article is about the American grunge band. Nirvana (band)_sentence_0

For the British psychedelic band, see Nirvana (British band). Nirvana (band)_sentence_1

For other uses, see Nirvana (disambiguation). Nirvana (band)_sentence_2

Nirvana (band)_table_infobox_0

NirvanaNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_2_0 Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.Nirvana (band)_cell_0_2_1
GenresNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_3_0 Nirvana (band)_cell_0_3_1
Years activeNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_4_0 1987–1994Nirvana (band)_cell_0_4_1
LabelsNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_5_0 Nirvana (band)_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_6_0 Nirvana (band)_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_7_0 Nirvana (band)_cell_0_7_1
Past membersNirvana (band)_header_cell_0_9_0 See members section for othersNirvana (band)_cell_0_9_1

Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Nirvana (band)_sentence_3

Founded by lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers before recruiting Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana (band)_sentence_4

Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Nirvana (band)_sentence_5

Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture. Nirvana (band)_sentence_6

In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. Nirvana (band)_sentence_7

They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. Nirvana (band)_sentence_8

After signing to major label DGC Records in 1991, Nirvana found unexpected mainstream success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from their landmark second album Nevermind (1991). Nirvana (band)_sentence_9

A cultural phenomenon of the 1990s, the album went on to be certified Diamond by the RIAA. Nirvana (band)_sentence_10

Characterized by their punk aesthetic, Nirvana's fusion of pop melodies with noise, combined with their themes of abjection and social alienation, made them hugely popular. Nirvana (band)_sentence_11

Nevermind was also credited for ending the dominance of hair metal. Nirvana (band)_sentence_12

Following extensive tours and the 1992 compilation album Incesticide and EP Hormoaning, Nirvana released their abrasive and less mainstream sounding third studio album, In Utero (1993). Nirvana (band)_sentence_13

The album topped both the US and UK album charts, and was acclaimed by critics. Nirvana (band)_sentence_14

Nirvana disbanded following Cobain's suicide in April 1994. Nirvana (band)_sentence_15

Various posthumous releases have been overseen by Novoselic, Grohl, and Cobain's widow Courtney Love. Nirvana (band)_sentence_16

The posthumous live album MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) won Best Alternative Music Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards. Nirvana (band)_sentence_17

By 2009, Nirvana record sales were over 75 million worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Nirvana (band)_sentence_18

During their three years as a mainstream act, Nirvana received an American Music Award, Brit Award and Grammy Award, as well as seven MTV Video Music Awards and two NME Awards. Nirvana (band)_sentence_19

They achieved five number-one hits on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and four number-one albums on the Billboard 200. Nirvana (band)_sentence_20

In 2004, Rolling Stone named Nirvana among the 100 greatest artists of all time. Nirvana (band)_sentence_21

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility in 2014. Nirvana (band)_sentence_22

History Nirvana (band)_section_0

Formation and early years (1987–1988) Nirvana (band)_section_1

Singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic met while attending Aberdeen High School in Washington state. Nirvana (band)_sentence_23

The pair became friends while frequenting the practice space of the Melvins. Nirvana (band)_sentence_24

Cobain wanted to form a band with Novoselic, but Novoselic did not respond for a long period. Nirvana (band)_sentence_25

Cobain gave him a demo tape of his project Fecal Matter. Nirvana (band)_sentence_26

Three years after the two first met, Novoselic notified Cobain that he had finally listened to the Fecal Matter demo and suggested they start a group. Nirvana (band)_sentence_27

Their first band, the Sellouts, was a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band. Nirvana (band)_sentence_28

They recruited Bob McFadden on drums, but after a month the project fell apart. Nirvana (band)_sentence_29

In early 1987, Cobain and Novoselic recruited drummer Aaron Burckhard. Nirvana (band)_sentence_30

They practiced material from Cobain's Fecal Matter tape but started writing new material soon after forming. Nirvana (band)_sentence_31

During its initial months, the band went through a series of names, including Fecal Matter, Skid Row and Ted Ed Fred. Nirvana (band)_sentence_32

The group settled on Nirvana because, according to Cobain, "I wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk name like the Angry Samoans". Nirvana (band)_sentence_33

Novoselic and Cobain moved to Tacoma and Olympia, Washington respectively. Nirvana (band)_sentence_34

They temporarily lost contact with Burckhard, and instead practiced with Dale Crover of the Melvins. Nirvana (band)_sentence_35

Nirvana recorded its first demos in January 1988. Nirvana (band)_sentence_36

In early 1988, Crover moved to San Francisco but recommended Dave Foster as his replacement on drums. Nirvana (band)_sentence_37

Foster's tenure with Nirvana lasted only a few months; during a stint in jail, he was replaced by Burckhard, who again departed after telling Cobain he was too hungover to practice one day. Nirvana (band)_sentence_38

Cobain and Novoselic put an ad seeking a replacement drummer in The Rocket, a Seattle music publication, but received no satisfactory responses. Nirvana (band)_sentence_39

Meanwhile, a mutual friend introduced them to drummer Chad Channing, and the three musicians agreed to jam together. Nirvana (band)_sentence_40

Channing continued to jam with Cobain and Novoselic; however, by Channing's own account, "They never actually said 'okay, you're in.'" Nirvana (band)_sentence_41

Channing played his first show with Nirvana in May 1988. Nirvana (band)_sentence_42

Early releases (1988–1990) Nirvana (band)_section_2

Nirvana released its first single, a cover of Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz", in November 1988 on the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop. Nirvana (band)_sentence_43

They did their first ever interview with John Robb in Sounds, which made their release its single of the week. Nirvana (band)_sentence_44

The following month, the band began recording its debut album, Bleach, with local producer Jack Endino. Nirvana (band)_sentence_45

Bleach was influenced by the heavy dirge-rock of the Melvins and the 1980s punk rock of Mudhoney, as well as the 1970s heavy metal of Black Sabbath. Nirvana (band)_sentence_46

The money for the recording sessions for Bleach, listed as $606.17 on the album sleeve, was supplied by Jason Everman, who was subsequently brought into the band as the second guitarist. Nirvana (band)_sentence_47

Though Everman did not play on the album, he received a credit on Bleach because, according to Novoselic, they "wanted to make him feel more at home in the band". Nirvana (band)_sentence_48

Just prior to the album's release, Nirvana became the first band to sign an extended contract with Sub Pop. Nirvana (band)_sentence_49

Bleach was released in June 1989, and became a favorite of college radio stations. Nirvana (band)_sentence_50

After the album's release Nirvana embarked on its first national tour, but ended up canceling the last few dates and returning to Washington state due to increasing differences with Everman. Nirvana (band)_sentence_51

No one told Everman he was fired; Everman later said he had actually quit. Nirvana (band)_sentence_52

Although Sub Pop did not promote Bleach as much as other releases, it was a steady seller, and had initial sales of 40,000 copies. Nirvana (band)_sentence_53

However, Cobain was upset by the label's lack of promotion and distribution for the album. Nirvana (band)_sentence_54

In late 1989, the band recorded the Blew EP with producer Steve Fisk. Nirvana (band)_sentence_55

In an interview around that time with John Robb in Sounds, Cobain commented that the band's music was changing, saying "The early songs were really angry... Nirvana (band)_sentence_56

But as time goes on the songs are getting poppier and poppier as I get happier and happier. Nirvana (band)_sentence_57

The songs are now about conflicts in relationships, emotional things with other human beings". Nirvana (band)_sentence_58

In April 1990, Nirvana began working on their next album with producer Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin. Nirvana (band)_sentence_59

Cobain and Novoselic became disenchanted with Channing's drumming, and Channing expressed frustration at not being involved in songwriting. Nirvana (band)_sentence_60

As bootlegs of Nirvana demos with Vig began to circulate in the music industry and draw attention from major labels, Channing left the band. Nirvana (band)_sentence_61

That July, Nirvana recorded the single "Sliver" with Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters. Nirvana (band)_sentence_62

Dale Crover filled in on drums on Nirvana's seven-date American West Coast tour with Sonic Youth that August. Nirvana (band)_sentence_63

In September 1990, Buzz Osborne of the Melvins introduced the band to drummer Dave Grohl, whose Washington, D.C. band Scream had broken up. Nirvana (band)_sentence_64

Grohl auditioned for Novoselic and Cobain days after arriving in Seattle; Novoselic later said, "We knew in two minutes that he was the right drummer." Nirvana (band)_sentence_65

Grohl told Q :"I remember being in the same room with them and thinking, 'What? Nirvana (band)_sentence_66

That's Nirvana? Nirvana (band)_sentence_67

Are you kidding?' Nirvana (band)_sentence_68

Because on their record cover they looked like psycho lumberjacks... Nirvana (band)_sentence_69

I was like, 'What, that little dude and that big motherfucker? Nirvana (band)_sentence_70

You're kidding me'." Nirvana (band)_sentence_71

Mainstream breakthrough (1991–1992) Nirvana (band)_section_3

Disenchanted with Sub Pop and with the Smart Studios sessions generating interest, Nirvana decided to look for a deal with a major record label since no indie label could buy the group out of its contract. Nirvana (band)_sentence_72

Cobain and Novoselic consulted Soundgarden and Alice in Chains manager Susan Silver for advice. Nirvana (band)_sentence_73

They met Silver in Los Angeles and she introduced them to agent Don Muller and music business attorney Alan Mintz, who was specialized in finding deals for new bands. Nirvana (band)_sentence_74

Mintz started sending out Nirvana's demo tape to major labels looking for deals. Nirvana (band)_sentence_75

Following repeated recommendations by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Nirvana signed to DGC Records in 1990. Nirvana (band)_sentence_76

When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Novoselic thanked Silver during his speech for "introducing them to the music industry properly". Nirvana (band)_sentence_77

After signing, the band began recording its first major label album, Nevermind. Nirvana (band)_sentence_78

The group was offered a number of producers, but held out for Vig. Nirvana (band)_sentence_79

Rather than record at Vig's Madison studio as they had in 1990, production shifted to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. Nirvana (band)_sentence_80

For two months, the band worked through a variety of songs. Nirvana (band)_sentence_81

Some, such as "In Bloom" and "Breed", had been in Nirvana's repertoire for years, while others, including "On a Plain" and "Stay Away", lacked finished lyrics until midway through the recording process. Nirvana (band)_sentence_82

After the recording sessions were completed, Vig and the band set out to mix the album. Nirvana (band)_sentence_83

However, the recording sessions had run behind schedule and the resulting mixes were deemed unsatisfactory. Nirvana (band)_sentence_84

Slayer mixer Andy Wallace was brought in to create the final mix. Nirvana (band)_sentence_85

After the album's release, members of Nirvana expressed dissatisfaction with the polished sound the mixer had given Nevermind. Nirvana (band)_sentence_86

Initially, DGC Records was hoping to sell 250,000 copies of Nevermind, the same they had achieved with Sonic Youth's Goo. Nirvana (band)_sentence_87

However, the first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" quickly gained momentum, boosted by major airplay of the music video on MTV. Nirvana (band)_sentence_88

As it toured Europe during late 1991, the band found that its shows were dangerously oversold, that television crews were becoming a constant presence onstage, and that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was almost omnipresent on radio and music television. Nirvana (band)_sentence_89

By Christmas 1991, Nevermind was selling 400,000 copies a week in the US. Nirvana (band)_sentence_90

In January 1992, the album displaced Michael Jackson's Dangerous at number one on the Billboard album charts, and topped the charts in numerous other countries. Nirvana (band)_sentence_91

The month Nevermind reached number one, Billboard proclaimed, "Nirvana is that rare band that has everything: critical acclaim, industry respect, pop radio appeal, and a rock-solid college/alternative base." Nirvana (band)_sentence_92

The album eventually sold over seven million copies in the United States and over 30 million worldwide. Nirvana (band)_sentence_93

Nirvana's sudden success was credited for popularizing alternative rock and ending the dominance of hair metal. Nirvana (band)_sentence_94

Citing exhaustion, Nirvana decided not to undertake another American tour in support of Nevermind, instead opting to make only a handful of performances later that year. Nirvana (band)_sentence_95

In March 1992, Cobain sought to reorganize the group's songwriting royalties (which to this point had been split equally) to better represent that he wrote the majority of the music. Nirvana (band)_sentence_96

Grohl and Novoselic did not object, but when Cobain wanted the agreement to be retroactive to the release of Nevermind, the disagreements between the two sides came close to breaking up the band. Nirvana (band)_sentence_97

After a week of tension, Cobain received a retroactive share of 75 percent of the royalties. Nirvana (band)_sentence_98

Bad feelings about the situation remained within the group afterward. Nirvana (band)_sentence_99

Amid rumors that the band was disbanding due to Cobain's health, Nirvana headlined the closing night of England's 1992 Reading Festival. Nirvana (band)_sentence_100

Cobain personally programmed the performance lineup. Nirvana (band)_sentence_101

Nirvana's performance at Reading is often regarded by the press as one of the most memorable of the group's career. Nirvana (band)_sentence_102

A few days later, Nirvana performed at the MTV Video Music Awards; despite the network's refusal to let the band play the new song "Rape Me", Cobain strummed and sang the first few bars of the song before breaking into "Lithium". Nirvana (band)_sentence_103

The band received awards for the Best Alternative Video and Best New Artist categories. Nirvana (band)_sentence_104

DGC had hoped to have a new Nirvana album ready for a late 1992 holiday season; instead, it released the compilation album Incesticide in December 1992. Nirvana (band)_sentence_105

A joint venture between DGC and Sub Pop, Incesticide collected various rare Nirvana recordings and was intended to provide the material for a better price and higher quality than bootlegs. Nirvana (band)_sentence_106

As Nevermind had been out for 15 months and had yielded a fourth single in "In Bloom" by that point, Geffen/DGC opted not to heavily promote Incesticide, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America the following February. Nirvana (band)_sentence_107

In Utero, final months, and Cobain's death (1993–1994) Nirvana (band)_section_4

See also: Suicide of Kurt Cobain Nirvana (band)_sentence_108

In February 1993, Nirvana released "Puss"/"Oh, the Guilt", a split single with The Jesus Lizard, on the independent label Touch & Go. Nirvana (band)_sentence_109

Meanwhile, the group chose Steve Albini, who had a reputation as a principled and opinionated individual in the American indie music scene, to record its third album. Nirvana (band)_sentence_110

While there was speculation that the band chose Albini to record the album due to his underground credentials, Cobain insisted that Albini's sound was simply the one he had always wanted Nirvana to have: a "natural" recording without layers of studio trickery. Nirvana (band)_sentence_111

Nirvana traveled to Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, in that February to record the album. Nirvana (band)_sentence_112

The sessions with Albini were productive and quick, and the album was recorded and mixed in two weeks for $25,000. Nirvana (band)_sentence_113

Several weeks after the completion of the recording sessions, stories ran in the Chicago Tribune and Newsweek that quoted sources claiming DGC considered the album "unreleasable". Nirvana (band)_sentence_114

As a result, fans began to believe that the band's creative vision might be compromised by their label. Nirvana (band)_sentence_115

While the stories about DGC shelving the album were untrue, the band actually was unhappy with certain aspects of Albini's mixes; they thought the bass levels were too low, and Cobain felt that "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies" did not sound "perfect". Nirvana (band)_sentence_116

Longtime R.E.M. Nirvana (band)_sentence_117

producer Scott Litt was called in to remix these two songs, with Cobain adding additional instrumentation and backing vocals. Nirvana (band)_sentence_118

In Utero topped both the American and British album charts. Nirvana (band)_sentence_119

Time's Christopher John Farley wrote in his review of the album, "Despite the fears of some alternative-music fans, Nirvana hasn't gone mainstream, though this potent new album may once again force the mainstream to go Nirvana". Nirvana (band)_sentence_120

In Utero went on to sell over 5 million copies in the United States. Nirvana (band)_sentence_121

That October, Nirvana embarked on its first tour of the United States in two years with support from Half Japanese and the Breeders. Nirvana (band)_sentence_122

For the tour, the band added Pat Smear of the punk rock band Germs as a second guitarist. Nirvana (band)_sentence_123

In November, Nirvana recorded a performance for the television program MTV Unplugged. Nirvana (band)_sentence_124

Augmented by Smear and cellist Lori Goldston, the band broke convention for the show by choosing not to play their most recognizable songs. Nirvana (band)_sentence_125

Instead, they performed several covers, and invited Cris and Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets to join them for renditions of three Meat Puppets songs. Nirvana (band)_sentence_126

In early 1994, Nirvana embarked on a European tour. Nirvana (band)_sentence_127

Nirvana's final concert took place in Munich, Germany, on March 1. Nirvana (band)_sentence_128

In Rome, on the morning of March 4, Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, found Cobain unconscious in their hotel room and he was rushed to the hospital. Nirvana (band)_sentence_129

Cobain had reacted to a combination of prescribed Rohypnol and alcohol. Nirvana (band)_sentence_130

The rest of the tour was canceled. Nirvana (band)_sentence_131

In the ensuing weeks, Cobain's heroin addiction resurfaced. Nirvana (band)_sentence_132

Following an intervention, Cobain was convinced to admit himself into drug rehabilitation. Nirvana (band)_sentence_133

After less than a week, he left the rehabilitation facility and returned to Seattle. Nirvana (band)_sentence_134

One week later, on April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead of a self-inflicted shotgun wound at his home in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of the city. Nirvana (band)_sentence_135

Aftermath and posthumous releases (1994–present) Nirvana (band)_section_5

Plans for a live album, Verse Chorus Verse, were canceled as Novoselic and Grohl found assembling the material so soon after Cobain's death emotionally overwhelming. Nirvana (band)_sentence_136

Instead, in November 1994, DGC released the MTV Unplugged performance as MTV Unplugged in New York; it debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, and earned Nirvana a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Nirvana (band)_sentence_137

It was followed by Nirvana's first full-length live video, Live! Nirvana (band)_sentence_138 Tonight! Nirvana (band)_sentence_139 Sold Out!!. Nirvana (band)_sentence_140

In 1996, the live album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah became the third consecutive Nirvana release to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart. Nirvana (band)_sentence_141

In 1994, Grohl founded a new band, Foo Fighters. Nirvana (band)_sentence_142

He and Novoselic decided against Novoselic joining; Grohl said it would have felt "really natural" for them to work together again, but would have been uncomfortable for the other band members and placed more pressure on Grohl. Nirvana (band)_sentence_143

Novoselic turned his attention to political activism. Nirvana (band)_sentence_144

In 1997, Novoselic, Grohl, and Love formed the limited liability company Nirvana LLC to oversee all Nirvana projects. Nirvana (band)_sentence_145

A 45-track box set of Nirvana rarities was scheduled for release in October 2001. Nirvana (band)_sentence_146

However, shortly before the release date, Love filed a suit to dissolve Nirvana LLC, and an injunction was issued preventing the release of any new Nirvana material until the case was resolved. Nirvana (band)_sentence_147

Love contended that Cobain was the band, that Grohl and Novoselic were sidemen, and that she had signed the partnership agreement originally under bad advice. Nirvana (band)_sentence_148

Grohl and Novoselic countersued, asking the court to remove Love from the partnership and to replace her with another representative of Cobain's estate. Nirvana (band)_sentence_149

The day before the case was set to go to trial in October 2002, Love, Novoselic, and Grohl announced that they had reached a settlement. Nirvana (band)_sentence_150

The next month, the best-of compilation Nirvana was released, featuring the previously unreleased track "You Know You're Right", the last song Nirvana recorded. Nirvana (band)_sentence_151

It debuted at number three on the Billboard album chart. Nirvana (band)_sentence_152

The box set, With the Lights Out, was finally released in November 2004. Nirvana (band)_sentence_153

The release contained early Cobain demos, rough rehearsal recordings, and live tracks recorded throughout the band's history. Nirvana (band)_sentence_154

An album of selected tracks from the box set, Sliver: The Best of the Box, was released in late 2005. Nirvana (band)_sentence_155

In April 2006, Love announced that she was selling 25 percent of her stake in the Nirvana song catalog in a deal estimated at $50 million. Nirvana (band)_sentence_156

The share of Nirvana's publishing was purchased by Primary Wave Music, which was founded by Larry Mestel, a former CEO of Virgin Records. Nirvana (band)_sentence_157

Love sought to assure Nirvana's fanbase that the music would not simply be licensed to the highest bidder: "We are going to remain very tasteful and true to the spirit of Nirvana while taking the music to places it has never been before". Nirvana (band)_sentence_158

Further releases have included the DVD releases of Live! Nirvana (band)_sentence_159

Tonight! Nirvana (band)_sentence_160

Sold Out!! Nirvana (band)_sentence_161

in 2006, and the full version of MTV Unplugged in New York in 2007. Nirvana (band)_sentence_162

In November 2009, Nirvana's performance at the 1992 Reading Festival was released on CD and DVD as Live at Reading, alongside a deluxe 20th-anniversary edition of Bleach. Nirvana (band)_sentence_163

DGC released a number of 20th anniversary deluxe-edition packages of Nevermind in September 2011 and In Utero in September 2013. Nirvana (band)_sentence_164

In 2012, Grohl, Novoselic, and Smear joined Paul McCartney at 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. Nirvana (band)_sentence_165

The performance featured the premiere of a new song written by the four, "Cut Me Some Slack". Nirvana (band)_sentence_166

A studio recording was released on the soundtrack to Sound City, a film by Grohl. Nirvana (band)_sentence_167

On July 19, 2013, they played with McCartney again during the encore of his Safeco Field "Out There" concert in Seattle, the first time Nirvana members had played together in their hometown in over 15 years. Nirvana (band)_sentence_168

In 2014, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nirvana (band)_sentence_169

At the induction ceremony, Novoselic, Grohl and Smear performed a four-song set with guest vocalists Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde. Nirvana (band)_sentence_170

Novoselic, Grohl, and Smear then performed a full show at Brooklyn's St. Vitus Bar with Jett, Gordon, St. Vincent, J Mascis, and John McCauley as guest vocalists. Nirvana (band)_sentence_171

At the ceremony, Grohl thanked Burckhard, Crover, Peters and Channing for their time in Nirvana. Nirvana (band)_sentence_172

Everman also attended. Nirvana (band)_sentence_173

At Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party in 2016, the surviving members of Nirvana reunited to perform the David Bowie song "The Man Who Sold the World", which Nirvana covered in their MTV Unplugged performance. Nirvana (band)_sentence_174

Beck accompanied them on acoustic guitar and lead vocals. Nirvana (band)_sentence_175

In October 2018, Novoselic and Grohl reunited during the finale of the Cal Jam festival at Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino County, California, joined by guest vocalists John McCauley and Joan Jett. Nirvana (band)_sentence_176

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Nirvana among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. Nirvana (band)_sentence_177

In January 2020, Novoselic and Grohl reunited for a performance at a benefit for The Art of Elysium at the Hollywood Palladium, joined by Beck, St Vincent, and Grohl's daughter Violet Grohl. Nirvana (band)_sentence_178

Musical style Nirvana (band)_section_6

Cobain described Nirvana's initial sound as "a Gang of Four and Scratch Acid ripoff". Nirvana (band)_sentence_179

When Nirvana recorded Bleach, Cobain felt he had to fit the expectations of the Sub Pop grunge sound to build a fanbase, and suppressed his arty and pop songwriting in favor of a more rock sound. Nirvana (band)_sentence_180

Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad argued, "Ironically, it was the restrictions of the Sub Pop sound that helped the band find its musical identity." Nirvana (band)_sentence_181

Azerrad stated that by acknowledging that they had grown up listening to Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, they had been able to move on from their derivative early sound. Nirvana (band)_sentence_182

Nirvana used dynamic shifts that went from quiet to loud. Nirvana (band)_sentence_183

Cobain sought to mix heavy and pop musical sounds, saying, "I wanted to be totally Led Zeppelin in a way and then be totally extreme punk rock and then do real wimpy pop songs." Nirvana (band)_sentence_184

When Cobain heard the Pixies' 1988 album Surfer Rosa after recording Bleach, he felt it had the sound he wanted to achieve but had been too intimidated to try. Nirvana (band)_sentence_185

The Pixies' subsequent popularity encouraged Cobain to follow his instincts as a songwriter. Nirvana (band)_sentence_186

Like the Pixies, Nirvana moved between "spare bass-and-drum grooves and shrill bursts of screaming guitar and vocals". Nirvana (band)_sentence_187

Near the end of his life, Cobain said the band had become bored of the "limited" formula, but expressed doubt that they were skilled enough to try other dynamics. Nirvana (band)_sentence_188

Cobain's rhythm guitar style, which relied on power chords, low-note riffs, and a loose left-handed technique, featured the key components to the band's songs. Nirvana (band)_sentence_189

Cobain would often initially play a song's verse riff in a clean tone, then double it with distorted guitars when he repeated the part. Nirvana (band)_sentence_190

In some songs the guitar would be absent from the verses entirely to allow the drums and bass guitar to support the vocals, or it would only play sparse melodies like the two-note pattern used in "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Nirvana (band)_sentence_191

Cobain rarely played standard guitar solos, opting to play variations of the song's melody as single note lines. Nirvana (band)_sentence_192

Cobain's solos were mostly blues-based and discordant, which music writer Jon Chappell described as "almost an iconoclastic parody of the traditional instrumental break", a quality typified by the note-for-note replication of the lead melody in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the atonal solo for "Breed". Nirvana (band)_sentence_193

The band had no formal musical training; Cobain said: "I have no concept of knowing how to be a musician at all what-so-ever... Nirvana (band)_sentence_194

I couldn't even pass Guitar 101". Nirvana (band)_sentence_195

Grohl's drumming "took Nirvana's sound to a new level of intensity". Nirvana (band)_sentence_196

Azerrad stated that Grohl's "powerful drumming propelled the band to a whole new plane, visually as well as musically", noting, "Although Dave is a merciless basher, his parts are also distinctly musical—it wouldn't be difficult to figure out what song he was playing even without the rest of the music". Nirvana (band)_sentence_197

From 1992, Cobain and Novoselic would tune their guitars to E flat for studio and live performances (until then, their live tunings were to concert pitch). Nirvana (band)_sentence_198

Cobain noted, "We play so hard we can't tune our guitars fast enough". Nirvana (band)_sentence_199

The band made a habit of destroying its equipment after shows. Nirvana (band)_sentence_200

Novoselic said he and Cobain created the "shtick" in order to get off of the stage sooner. Nirvana (band)_sentence_201

Cobain stated it began as an expression of his frustration with previous drummer Channing making mistakes and dropping out entirely during performances. Nirvana (band)_sentence_202

Songwriting and lyrics Nirvana (band)_section_7

Everett True said in 1989, "Nirvana songs treat the banal and pedestrian with a unique slant". Nirvana (band)_sentence_203

Cobain came up with the basic components of each song (usually writing them on an acoustic guitar), as well as the singing style and the lyrics. Nirvana (band)_sentence_204

He emphasized that Novoselic and Grohl "have a big part in deciding on how long a song should be and how many parts it should have. Nirvana (band)_sentence_205

So I don't like to be considered the sole songwriter". Nirvana (band)_sentence_206

When asked which part of the songs he would write first, Cobain responded, "I don’t know. Nirvana (band)_sentence_207

I really don't know. Nirvana (band)_sentence_208

I guess I start with the verse and then go into the chorus". Nirvana (band)_sentence_209

Cobain usually wrote lyrics for songs minutes before recording them. Nirvana (band)_sentence_210

Cobain said, "When I write a song the lyrics are the least important subject. Nirvana (band)_sentence_211

I can go through two or three different subjects in a song and the title can mean absolutely nothing at all". Nirvana (band)_sentence_212

Cobain told Spin in 1993 that he "didn't give a flying fuck" what the lyrics on Bleach were about, figuring "Let's just scream some negative lyrics and as long as they're not sexist and don't get too embarrassing it'll be okay", while the lyrics to Nevermind were taken from two years of poetry he had accumulated, which he cut up and chose lines he preferred from. Nirvana (band)_sentence_213

In comparison, Cobain stated that the lyrics to In Utero were "more focused, they're almost built on themes". Nirvana (band)_sentence_214

Cobain didn't write necessarily in a linear fashion, instead relying on juxtapositions of contradictory images to convey emotions and ideas. Nirvana (band)_sentence_215

Often in his lyrics, Cobain would present an idea then reject it; the songwriter explained, "I'm such a nihilistic jerk half the time and other times I'm so vulnerable and sincere [.. Nirvana (band)_sentence_216

The songs are] like a mixture of both of them. Nirvana (band)_sentence_217

That's how most people my age are". Nirvana (band)_sentence_218

Legacy Nirvana (band)_section_8

See also: Alternative rock: Popularization in the 1990s Nirvana (band)_sentence_219

Characterized by their punk aesthetic, Nirvana often fused pop melodies with noise. Nirvana (band)_sentence_220

Combined with their themes of abjection and alienation, the band became hugely popular during their short tenure. Nirvana (band)_sentence_221

Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that prior to Nirvana, "alternative music was consigned to specialty sections of record stores, and major labels considered it to be, at the very most, a tax write-off". Nirvana (band)_sentence_222

Following the release of Nevermind, "nothing was ever quite the same, for better and for worse". Nirvana (band)_sentence_223

The success of Nevermind not only popularized grunge, but also established "the cultural and commercial viability of alternative rock in general". Nirvana (band)_sentence_224

While other alternative bands had hits before, Nirvana "broke down the doors forever", according to Erlewine. Nirvana (band)_sentence_225

Erlewine further stated that Nirvana's breakthrough "didn't eliminate the underground", but rather "just gave it more exposure". Nirvana (band)_sentence_226

Erlewine also stated that Nirvana's breakthrough "popularized so-called 'Generation X' and 'slacker' culture". Nirvana (band)_sentence_227

Immediately following Cobain's death, numerous headlines referred to Nirvana's frontman as "the voice of a generation", although he had rejected such labeling during his lifetime. Nirvana (band)_sentence_228

In 1992, Jon Pareles of The New York Times reported that Nirvana's breakthrough had made others in the alternative scene impatient for achieving similar success, noting, "Suddenly, all bets are off. Nirvana (band)_sentence_229

No one has the inside track on which of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of ornery, obstreperous, unkempt bands might next appeal to the mall-walking millions". Nirvana (band)_sentence_230

Record company executives offered large advances and record deals to bands, and previous strategies of building audiences for alternative rock groups had been replaced by the opportunity to achieve mainstream popularity quickly. Nirvana (band)_sentence_231

Michael Azerrad argued in his Nirvana biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana (1993) that Nevermind marked an epochal generational shift in music similar to the rock-and-roll explosion in the 1950s and the end of the baby boomer generation's dominance of the musical landscape. Nirvana (band)_sentence_232

Azerrad wrote, "Nevermind came along at exactly the right time. Nirvana (band)_sentence_233

This was music by, for, and about a whole new group of young people who had been overlooked, ignored, or condescended to." Nirvana (band)_sentence_234

Regarding the success of Nevermind, Fugazi frontman Guy Picciotto said: "It was like our record could have been a hobo pissing in the forest for the amount of impact it had ... Nirvana (band)_sentence_235

It felt like we were playing ukuleles all of a sudden because of the disparity of the impact of what they did." Nirvana (band)_sentence_236

Nirvana is one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Nirvana (band)_sentence_237

With over 25 million RIAA-certified units, the band is also the 80th-best-selling music artist in the United States. Nirvana (band)_sentence_238

The band have achieved ten top 40 hits on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, including five No. Nirvana (band)_sentence_239

1's. Nirvana (band)_sentence_240

Two of the band's studio albums and two of their live albums have reached the top spot on the Billboard 200. Nirvana (band)_sentence_241

Nirvana has been awarded one Diamond, three Multi-Platinum, seven Platinum and two Gold certified albums in the United States by the RIAA, and four Multi-Platinum, four Platinum, two Gold and one Silver certified albums in the UK by the BPI. Nirvana (band)_sentence_242

Nevermind, the band's most successful album, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums ever. Nirvana (band)_sentence_243

Their most successful song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", is among the best-selling singles of all time, having sold 8 million copies. Nirvana (band)_sentence_244

Awards and accolades Nirvana (band)_section_9

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Nirvana Nirvana (band)_sentence_245

Since their breakup, Nirvana has continued to receive acclaim. Nirvana (band)_sentence_246

In 2003, they were selected as one of the inductees of the Mojo Hall of Fame 100. Nirvana (band)_sentence_247

The band also received a nomination in 2004 from the UK Music Hall of Fame for the title of "Greatest Artist of the 1990s". Nirvana (band)_sentence_248

Rolling Stone placed Nirvana at number 27 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004, and at number 30 on their updated list in 2011. Nirvana (band)_sentence_249

In 2003, the magazine's senior editor David Fricke picked Kurt Cobain as the 12th best guitarist of all time. Nirvana (band)_sentence_250

Rolling Stone later ranked Cobain as the 45th greatest singer in 2008 and 73rd greatest guitarist of all time in 2011. Nirvana (band)_sentence_251

VH1 ranked Nirvana as the 42nd greatest artists of rock and roll in 1998, the 7th greatest hard rock artists in 2000, and the 14th greatest artists of all time in 2010. Nirvana (band)_sentence_252

Nirvana's contributions to music have also received recognition. Nirvana (band)_sentence_253

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted two of Nirvana's recordings, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "All Apologies", into its list of "The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Nirvana (band)_sentence_254

The museum also ranked Nevermind number 10 on its "The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time" list in 2007. Nirvana (band)_sentence_255

In 2005, the Library of Congress added Nevermind to the National Recording Registry, which collects "culturally, historically or aesthetically important" sound recordings from the 20th century. Nirvana (band)_sentence_256

In 2011, four of Nirvana's songs appeared on Rolling Stone's updated list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ranking the highest at number 9. Nirvana (band)_sentence_257

Three of the band's albums were ranked on the magazine's 2012 list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", with Nevermind placing the highest at number 17. Nirvana (band)_sentence_258

The same three Nirvana albums were also placed on Rolling Stone's 2011 list of "The 100 Best Albums of the Nineties", with Nevermind ranking the highest at number 1, making it the greatest album of the decade. Nirvana (band)_sentence_259

Time included Nevermind on its list of "The All-TIME 100 Albums" in 2006, labeling it "the finest album of the 1990s". Nirvana (band)_sentence_260

In 2011, the magazine also added "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on its list of "The All-TIME 100 Songs", and "Heart-Shaped Box" on its list of "The 30 All-TIME Best Music Videos". Nirvana (band)_sentence_261

Pitchfork Media ranked Nevermind and In Utero as the sixth and thirteenth greatest albums of of the 1990s, describing the band as "the greatest and most legendary band of the 1990s." Nirvana (band)_sentence_262

Nirvana was announced in their first year of eligibility as being part of the 2014 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 17, 2013. Nirvana (band)_sentence_263

The induction ceremony was held April 10, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclays Center. Nirvana (band)_sentence_264

However, Channing, who was informed of his omission by SMS, was not included in the induction, as the accolade was only applied to Cobain, Novoselic and Grohl. Nirvana (band)_sentence_265

Personnel Nirvana (band)_section_10

Timeline Nirvana (band)_section_11

Discography Nirvana (band)_section_12

Main articles: Nirvana discography and list of songs Nirvana (band)_sentence_266

Further information: Nirvana bootleg recordings Nirvana (band)_sentence_267

Nirvana (band)_unordered_list_0

  • Bleach (1989)Nirvana (band)_item_0_0
  • Nevermind (1991)Nirvana (band)_item_0_1
  • In Utero (1993)Nirvana (band)_item_0_2

See also Nirvana (band)_section_13

Nirvana (band)_unordered_list_1

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: (band).